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The Biden administration published its long-awaited five-year offshore oil and gas leasing plan Friday one day after missing its June deadline.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) plan included the possibility of the federal government holding up to 11 lease sales off the coast of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico over the five-year period between 2023-2028. However, the plan also put forward the option of the federal government holding no lease sales in that same time period.
"From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy," Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. "Today, we put forward an opportunity for the American people to consider and provide input on the future of offshore oil and gas leasing. The time for the public to weigh in on our future is now."
The plan didn't include any potential sales in the Atlantic or Pacific, effectively blocking drilling off the east and west coasts. In the first version of the DOI plan, the Trump administration sought to hold a total of 47 sales across the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska's coasts.
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Under the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the federal government is required to issue offshore leasing plans every five years laying out prospective oil and gas lease sales. The current 2017-2022 plan expired Thursday.
Haaland previously promised that the DOI would issue the plan by Thursday. The administration delayed the announcement without giving a reason.